With the start of the pre season friendlies commencing this Saturday (5th July) it seemed an ideal time to ask Myles how preparations were going for the new campaign. As with probably 99% of all managers, Myles can’t wait for the action to start as he enthused “We’ve now been back for just over two weeks and the guys seem to have come back in good shape. I know most of them were doing various things throughout the close season and they weren’t shy texting me every time they had finished an Insanity session or a Spinning class. But with such a long break, that was the smart thing to do and overall, the fitness of the squad has been impressive”.
When asked about the makeup of his squad for the season Myles mentioned the need for stability when he said “There have been a lot of changes in the playing squad over the last 18 months, mostly out of necessity. However, I was keener this time to strike a balance between introducing some new faces and trying to develop a more settled feel to the squad. So far we have four new signings but I’m still looking for one or two more before the season begins next month”. Asked about his new acquisitions the manager said “Billy Rogerson and Lloyd Ferri have joined us from Aberdour U19s. Billy featured in our last two matches of last season and looked like he adapted to East of Scotland football very quickly. He is a very versatile player who can play wide on either side of the defence or midfield. He has lots of energy, a great first touch and is very pacey. Lloyd is a central midfielder who likes to get on the ball and makes things happen. I’m hopeful that he will step up to the challenge and enjoy playing for us. Making a return to the Shipyard squad is JP McPhail. JP was with us on loan from Cowdenbeath FC last season and we have now secured him on a permanent basis. JP can play wide or through the middle and is another one with lots of pace, but more importantly he has excellent technical ability. A great addition defensively is Connor McManus. Although Connor is still a youngster at 20 years old, he spent last season in junior football with both Lochgelly Albert and Thornton Hibs so he should settle in without any problems. Although not a new signing as such, as he was registered with us throughout last season, I’m delighted to welcome Brendan Napier back into the fold after he missed the second half of last season. Brendan gives us a lot of quality and experience in the midfield”.
Just like any other manager Myles is always on the lookout to add to his squad though quality rather than quantity is what he is looking for as he went on to add “There are a 3 or 4 players who we have had training with us who are still unsigned and hopefully we can get at least a couple of them signed to strengthen the squad further although we’ve now got 18 signed players so there’s not room for many more”. Looking ahead to the first match he said “We have our first friendly on Saturday against Links United AFC who we also played at the same stage last pre-season. Although we won 5-1 last time, I know that they went on to have a good season and, with us missing a few guys due to work and holidays, this will be a tough game to start with”.